It’s difficult, if not impossible, to fully convey what a strange and difficult year this has been for the travel industry. While the stress of COVID-19 has permeated every sector and role, it seems particularly challenging for startups and their founders – many that ended 2019 with great momentum as part of an industry that was in the midst of record growth.
The good news is there are many travel startups that are finding ways to not just survive but in fact thrive through this extraordinary year, whether by reconfiguring budgets, pivoting their products, developing partnerships, identifying new opportunities or a combination of all four.
On Monday next week we will release our selection of the Hot 25 Startups for 2021. In preparation for that, we have checked in with the companies that made the cut one year ago – our Hot 25 for 2020. We asked them to answer two questions:
Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, what have been a few highlights of 2020 for your company (any partnerships, funding, change in strategy, pivots, etc.)
What are your priorities for 2021?
We heard from almost all 25. Here are their answers, edited in some cases for brevity.